Safety Concerns University of Memphis Students

Staff Reporter
Daily Helmsman
University of Memphis

Walking across campus at night can be a scary thought for many.

That’s why some University of Memphis students say they take all the necessary precautions to protect themselves from being attacked.

“I always look around,” said Erika Judnich, a senior criminal justice and sociology major.

Judnich said she tries to avoid areas that are enclosed.

“I won’t walk in between buildings,” she said. “I only walk in open spaces.”

She said that although she is aware of Tiger Patrol, an escort program at The University, she doesn’t really think she needs it.

“I only have day classes,” she said.

Tiger Patrol, which is staffed by students, provides safety to students or faculty members who are on campus during evening hours. Donna Russell, a sophomore nursing major, said she wasn’t aware of any such program.

She said that if she had known about the program, she might think about taking night classes.

“That would make it easier for me to take a night class,” Russell said.

She said that if she did have to walk across campus at night she would definitely take precautions to protect herself.

“I would always be aware of where I am,” she said. “You should always be aware of your surroundings.”

Russell also said she would never walk alone.

“I would try to find someone to walk with,” she said.

Derek Myers, deputy director of U of M Police Services, agreed.

He said many people don’t pay attention to their surroundings.

“People are talking on cell phones instead of looking around at their surrounding,” Myers said.

Myers said that if you feel uncomfortable, you shouldn’t park your car.

“If you see something suspicious call us and report it,” he said.

Myers said the most important thing is to report a crime as quickly as possible.

“The quicker you report it, the quicker we can do something about it,” he said.

He also said he thinks students use Tiger Patrol regularly.

“They mostly use it when they’re leaving places like the library, parking lots or the dorms,” Myers said.

He said they advertise for Tiger Patrol so students can know it exists.

“We put advertisement on golf carts,” he said. “Hopefully people will see it and use it.”

Myers also said men and women react differently to the Tiger Patrol program.

“Guys think it’s a sign of weakness if they have to ask for help,” he said.

Damon McDermott, a junior biology major, said he does not use Tiger Patrol.

“I don’t really feel threatened,” McDermott said. “But I would if I felt threatened.”

Isaac Roethe, a sophomore graphics design major, said he does take precautions.

“I try to park around or under lights,” he said. Roethe said he does think about getting attacked. “It goes through my mind,” he said.